Manchester United legend Paul Ince has claimed that Erling Haaland will never sign for the club as a result of Roy Keane’s shocking tackle on his father, Alf-Inge Haaland, back in 2001. The Borussia Dortmund striker has been heavily linked with a move away from the Bundesliga ahead of next season, with United said to be one of several clubs harbouring a keen interest in securing his signature.
Haaland has scored 80 goals in just 79 appearances for Dortmund since joining the Bundesliga heavyweights from Red Bull Salzburg two years ago.
He has emerged as one of the planet’s most feared marksmen in the process and will reportedly be available for around £68million in the summer thanks to a release clause in his current contract.
United are said to be long-term admirers of Haaland and tried to snap him up before he moved to Salzburg from Molde back in 2019.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have also been credited with an interest in his services as of late, with Ince adamant that he is more likely to join either of the Spanish giants than United ahead of next season.
The former England winger has blamed Keane for ruining the possibility of a move for Haaland after injuring his father with a sickening tackle in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford 21 years ago.
“United need a new striker, Haaland is a tricky one because of the situation with his dad and Keane at Old Trafford,” Ince told Goal.
“I can’t see him going to Old Trafford just based on that, and if there’s no Champions League, he definitely won’t.”
Keane was shown a straight red card for a horrendous knee-high challenge on Haaland’s father which left the Manchester City playmaker writhing on the floor in agony.
The United icon also stood over his stricken opponent and verbally berated him before trudging down the tunnel and back into the home dressing room.
Meanwhile, it seems as though United’s hopes of landing his free-scoring son are now all but over, with Real Madrid having emerged as the Dortmund man’s most likely suitors in recent months.
The La Liga heavyweights closed a ‘preferential agreement’ with Haaland’s representatives to bring him to the Bernabeu earlier this week, according to Sport.
It is said that club chiefs recently held a summit in Monaco to finalise the deal, but the proposed move could still hang in the balance if Haaland decides to change his mind between now and next season.
Real Madrid are yet to agree terms at club level with Dortmund and are said to be planning to include Luka Jovic in a part-exchange deal in order to drive down Haaland’s asking price.
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It remains to be seen whether the 21-year-old will eventually join Los Blancos when the transfer market re-opens once again at the end of the season.
Transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio recently claimed that Haaland was keen on the idea of moving to La Liga as opposed to the Premier League, suggesting that Real Madrid could well be the frontrunners in the race for his signature.
“He [Haaland] doesn’t like the Premier League too much, it’s not exactly his dream, it’s not the perfect league right now,” Di Marzio told Wettfreunde.
“He prefers La Liga, he likes the league a lot. So I think La Liga is the perfect environment for him to play in now. Or the Bundesliga, where he currently plays.”
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